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Management buy-in at Barkers

Yorkshire-based Barkers Motor Group has undergone a management buy-in involving two former executives of Dixon Motors.

David Plummer, Barkers’ chairman, has sold two 25% stakes of the company to Reece Thompson and Carl Meeson, who now become joint directors.

Since their appointment, they have been assisting Plummer in a review of the group, aimed at restoring profitability.

The review has already led to the sale of its Hull Skoda business to Royce Roberts, as revealed in AM on July 25.

Further disposals are not expected.

However Meeson, previously a regional general sales manager at Dixon Motors, and Thompson, a former Dixon Motors director, have already overseen several personnel changes, with some managers being asked to leave the business and seven new managers being brought in.

“The company had lost direction and we quickly found the areas where there was a lack of management motivation,” Meeson told AM.

“There were some general sales managers who didn’t want to change the way they worked.”

Barkers has two dual- franchise sites in South Milford, near Leeds, and Richmond with Kia and Citroën. It also has a Citroën site in Grimsby and a Peugeot site in Malton.

The South Milford outlet will relocate to a new shared showroom in Wakefield.

Barkers has already secured a £1.4 million property and aims to open a new-build showroom by the end of the year.

All the changes are expected to boost Barkers’ £60 million turnover to £70 million.

Meeson said the immediate focus would be on consolidation, but said he may consider one or two small acquisitions.

“Among the doom and gloom of the industry at the moment, we’re focusing on a positive new start for Barkers, taking the company back into profit,” said Meeson.

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